Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:30 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and pick up your welcome packet containing your name tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check-in.
Dinner: In our reserved section of the hotel’s restaurant, we will have a buffet including freshly baked bread, a salad bar, soups, hot entrees, and dessert, plus coffee, tea (hot/iced), soda, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Unless specified otherwise, transportation will be provided primarily by motorcoach, which will require going up/down a few steps when getting on/off. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We will continue getting to know each other, settle in, and get a good night’s rest of the day ahead.
Activity note: Walking about 1 mile; approx. 1/2 hour on grass and paved road.
Breakfast: In our reserved section of the hotel’s restaurant, we will enjoy a plentiful buffet offering rotating choices such as eggs, breakfast meats, hot cereals, pastries, yogurt, and fruit, plus coffee, tea, juices, water.
Morning: After meeting the owner of the resort, we’ll go for a walk along the water and down to the bay. As we walk, we’ll learn the 30-plus year of the resort and the area, and discuss the Mink River Estuary and Newport State Park. What once was a run down fishing camp has been re-imagined as a vintage resort along the water, where we can savor the fresh lake breezes before returning to the resort. We will have an opportunity to learn from a local watercolor artist. Our artist will share his love of watercolors with us as he explains his process and gives a quick demonstration; then it will be our turn to give it a try. Don't think, just do! We'll be surprised with the results and have a great memento to take home.
Lunch: In the hotel restaurant, we will have an exclusive plated meal with a choice of sandwich salad, fresh fruit and dessert, plus coffee, iced tea, milk, soda, water.
Afternoon: We will then be joined by an award-winning taxidermist to learn about the surprising art of taxidermy, seeing examples of fish, mammals and birds. Don’t shy away from this surprise hit presentation! A visit to Door County wouldn’t be complete without a fish boil. We’ll join the resident story teller at the fire pit to learn about the fish boil and the colorful characters who figure in its history, all with spectacular Newport State Park as the backdrop. Be prepared for the spectacular “boil over.”
Dinner: Hotel buffet featuring an authentic fish boil.
Evening: We’ll have local entertainment, Door County style.
Activity note: Walking approx. 1/2 hour on park trails.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We’ll be joined by a local naturalist to learn about the formation of the Niagara Escarpment and the unique geologic features of the peninsula. The Niagara Escarpment is most famous as the cliff over which the Niagara River flows, creating Niagara Falls, but runs from near Rochester, NY, to northwest of Chicago. Then. after boarding the motorcoach, we will set out for our field trip to northern Door County with our naturalist. At Ellison Bluff County Park, we will hunt for fossils along a rocky beach and see the Niagara Escarpment in person. The peninsula is on a tilt so there are steep bluffs on the Green Bay side and sandy beaches on the Lake Michigan side. We’ll take a quick walk through the park on a trail to look for seasonal wildflowers before boarding the coach for our next stop.
Lunch: At a local restaurant in Fish Creek, we will have a plated meal with a choice of sandwich, side and slice of pie, plus choice of soft drink, iced tea, coffee, milk or water.
Afternoon: Next, we’ll ride to Peninsula State Park for a docent-led visit to Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, where we’ll visit the living quarters of the lighthouse keepers and their families and hear stories of shipwrecks and the life “keeping the light.” This beautifully restored lighthouse sits atop a bluff above the Bay of Green Bay. We’ll then return to the resort at the end of our field trip.
Dinner: Hotel restaurant buffet.
Evening: We will then meet some local orchard owners, who own a 100-year-old farm, orchard, and market. They will share stories of working the orchard, German POW and migrant pickers and show us some cherry picking tools.
Activity note: Walking about 2 miles total throughout the day on paved walkways, woodchip paths, lawn, uneven ground. Ferry crossing takes about 1/2 hour each way. Driving short distances at a time aboard motorcoach.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We’ll board our motorcoach for a short trip north to where the main part of the peninsula ends, at Northport Ferry Dock. We will board the Washington Island Ferry for a 30-minute crossing to the island to explore the island, its history and culture. Washington Island sits about 7 miles north off the tip of the Door County Peninsula. A long time home to native peoples due to the abundant fish and fresh water, the island was settled by Icelandic and other Scandinavian immigrants in the late 1800s. Today there are about 800 residents who live year-round on the island and well as thousands who visit. Everything must be transported over by ferry including food, furniture and even livestock. Our first stop is at the replica medieval Norwegian stave church (Stavkirke) built to honor the Scandinavian heritage of the islanders. We'll view the charming weathered exterior and dragons overlooking the roofs and then go inside to see the remarkable stave construction. Our next stop is just down the road at the lavender farm. Depending on the time of year, we may see plants newly planted, the beautiful purple haze of plants in bloom, or plants being harvested for oil to be used in a multitude of products. It is a lovely place to visit at any time of the year and we will learn more about cultivating lavender, the dream of the owners to create the farm, and be able to walk among the plants and sample a variety of products created from the oil.
Lunch: At a local island restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with coffee, tea, water included.
Afternoon: We’ll continue our island exploration with a stop at Schoolhouse Beach. This rocky shore of super smooth rocks is a popular place for residents and visitors alike. We can try skipping a rock over the water, but please don't take the rocks - they are protected by law! After our day-long field trip, we’ll head back to the ferry for another 30-minute crossing to the mainland.
Dinner: Hotel buffet.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Walking in and around museums; about 2 hours of standing and walking.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We’ll start the day with a ride to Seaquist Orchards to see the family operation typical of orchards in Door County. At one of the area’s largest cherry and apple orchards, we will ride on the motorcoach through the test orchard and learn more about the fruit industry. At the end, we'll enjoy a cup of apple cider and explore the farm market. Our next field trip will bring us to the Door County Historical Museum, voted “Best Small Museum in the Midwest” by the Chicago Tribune. Educational displays portray Door County’s unique history including early settlers, orchards, industries, and more. The spectacular "Seasons of Life" wildlife diorama by a nationally renowned taxidermist features over 100 native species, while the Pioneer Fire Station displays restored fire trucks. We will also meet a taxidermist at the museum and learn how the exhibit was created, from the bird and animal mounts to the painted mural and the realistic rocks and leaves.
Lunch: At a local restaurant in Sturgeon Bay, located along the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal, we will have a soup and salad buffet with lemonade, iced tea or water included; other beverages available for purchase. If we’re lucky we’ll see the Michigan Street steel bridge open for a sailboat to pass through.
Afternoon: Located along Sturgeon Bay’s busy waterfront, the Door County Maritime Museum showcases the area’s rich maritime roots. A museum staff member will lead us around the museum and its exhibits before allowing time for independent exploration. We’ll then return to the resort.
Dinner: Hotel buffet. We'll share some of our favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends.
Evening: Some local musicians will join us at the resort for some casual entertainment to close out our final evening together. Afterwards, be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.
Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.
Morning: If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!